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The Virginia Driver’s Manual will help you learn and

understand safe driving practices. Study this manual to prepare for the knowledge test, obtain a Virginia driver’s license and become a safe driver. The information contained in this manual should be used as a general guide to the motor vehicle laws but not as a substitute for the Code of Virginia, which contains the laws that govern Virginia drivers and vehicles. If you are learning to drive, this manual will give you information you need to study for the knowledge exam. If you already have a Virginia driver’s license, review this manual for new laws or rules of the road. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Your driver’s license carries with it a great responsibility to be courteous of other drivers on the roadways and follow state and federal motoring laws. This manual is also available on the DMV website, www.dmvNOW.com. DMV offers the Virginia Driver’s Manual in an audio format for Virginians with special needs. The audio version is available at www.dmvNOW.com.

Virginia Driver’s Manual: Table of Contents

Section 1 – Testing

Two-part knowledge exam .................................................3 Road skills test ...................................................................4 Vision screening .................................................................4 Vision standards ....................................................4

Traffic signals......................................................................5 Lane use signals .....................................................6 Traffic signs ........................................................................6 Sign shapes............................................................6 Regulatory or guide signs .......................................7 Warning signs ........................................................8 Work zones ...........................................................10 Pavement markings ............................................................10 Painted curbs .....................................................................12

Section 2 – Signals, Signs and Pavement Markings

Section 3 – Safe Driving

Hand position ....................................................................13 Speed limits .......................................................................14 Stopping ............................................................................14 Yielding the right-of-way ....................................................15 Roundabouts .....................................................................15 Changing lanes ..................................................................16 Passing .............................................................................16 Over-correcting .................................................................17 Turning .............................................................................17 U-turns .............................................................................17 Turn signals ........................................................................17 Maintaining a space cushion ..............................................18 Following distance .................................................18 Searching ...........................................................................18

Blind spots .........................................................................19 Sharing the road ................................................................19 Pedestrians ............................................................19 Bicycles .................................................................19 Mopeds .................................................................19 Motorcycles...........................................................19 Light rail ................................................................20 Low speed vehicles ...............................................20 Trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and RVs ....................20 Light to medium trailers .........................................20 Backing .............................................................................21 Parking .............................................................................21 Visibility .............................................................................21 Lights .................................................................................21 Hazardous conditions ........................................................21 Night driving .........................................................21 Fog ........................................................................22 Rain ......................................................................22 Snow .....................................................................22 Dangerous driving behaviors ..............................................22 Aggressive driving ..................................................22 Distracted driving ..................................................22 Drowsy driving ......................................................23 Drinking and driving ..............................................23 Traffic crashes ....................................................................24 Traffic stops ........................................................................24

Section 4 – Seat Belts, Airbags, and Child Safety Seats

Seat belts ...........................................................................25 Air bags .............................................................................25 Child safety seats ...............................................................26

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Table of Contents

License suspension ............................................................27 License revocation .............................................................27 Conviction-related suspensions and revocations .................27 Other DMV requirements, suspensions and revocations .....28 Driver Improvement Program ................................28 Medical review program ........................................28 Insurance monitoring program ...............................29 Suspension for failing to satisfy child support-related requirements ................................29 Alcohol and the law ...........................................................29 Administrative License Suspension .........................29 Open alcohol containers in vehicles ......................29 Transporting children while under the influence of alcohol/drugs .....................................................29 Vehicle impoundment ...........................................30 Restitution .............................................................30 Alcohol related violations and penalties involving persons under age 21 .............................30

Section 5 – Penalties

Section 6 – License Types

Learner’s permit ................................................................31 Driver’s license ..................................................................31 Commercial driver’s license ...............................................32 School bus driver’s license .................................................32 Motorcycle learner’s permit ...............................................32 Motorcycle driver’s license.................................................32 International driver’s license ..............................................32

Receiving your license by mail ...........................................33 Address Changes................................................................33 New to Virginia ..................................................................33 Titles, registrations, license plates, decals ............................33 Safety inspections ..............................................................34 Insurance requirements .....................................................34 Applying to register to vote ................................................34 Organ, eye and tissue donation..........................................34

Section 7 – Other Important Information

Section 8 – Sample Knowledge Exam

Sample exam .....................................................................35

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If you fail the driver’s license knowledge exam three times. A DMV representative will tell you which tests you need to take.  Age 18 or older – you must pay a $2. Canada. An audio version of the exam is available and the exam is also offered in Spanish. Tests will include In this section you’ll learn about:  Two-part knowledge exam  Road skills test  Vision screening  Vision standards Two-Part Knowledge Exam You will need to take the knowledge exam if you do not hold a valid driver’s license from another U. Part two tests your general knowledge with multiple choice questions. S. For example. Germany or France.Section 1: Testing a vision screening and may include a two-part knowledge exam and a road skills test. you will not be able to take it a fourth time until you complete and pass the classroom part of driver education at a V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 3 . motor vehicle laws. Exam questions are taken from information in this manual. You must answer at least 80 percent of these questions correctly to pass part two. you may request to have the exam translated.00 fee if you retake the exam within 15 days. If necessary. If you fail the exam and you are:  Under age 18 – by law you must wait a full 15 days before you can retake the exam. if you fail the exam on January 1. state. The two-part knowledge exam is given on a computer and tests your knowledge of traffic signs. The exam may be taken only once per business day. You must correctly answer all ten traffic sign questions in part one of the exam before you can take part two of the exam. the earliest you can take the exam again is January 17. and safe driving.

If you fail the road skills test at DMV three times.dmvNOW.com or contact DMV at (804) 497-7100. and  70 degrees. The vision screening is not a medical exam. Vision Screening To screen your vision. If you have vision in only one eye. private or commercial driving school. Vision Standards Services for Persons With Disabilities Customers with special needs or who require special help with applications or testing should tell a DMV staff member at any DMV location. license plates. 4 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . state. refer to the Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet (HS 3) for more information about taking the road skills test. The vehicle must have a valid safety inspection sticker. The completion date for the classroom part must be after the date you failed the knowledge exam the third time. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision screening.com. or comparable measurement that shows a field of vision within this range. Driver’s license – unrestricted  20/40 or better vision in one or both eyes. The test may be taken only once per business day.dmvNOW. Your license will display an X for this restriction. horizontal vision. Bioptic telescopic lenses: If you wear bioptic telescopic lenses. registration card and decals. you must visit a DMV customer service center and pass the vision screening without wearing glasses or contact lenses or submit a Vision Screening Report (MED 4). safety belts. Canada. the road skills test will be given by a DMV staff member. Germany or France. the road skills test will be given as part of the driver education course taken at a public. If you fail the vision screening. When you successfully complete the classroom part and give DMV your certificate of completion. The screening shows whether your vision meets Virginia’s standards to safely drive. you can take the road skills test again. read the DMV publication Driver’s Licensing Information for Bioptic Telescopic Lense Wearers (MED 44) available at www. and  100 degrees. or comparable measurement that shows a field of vision within this range. you may be asked to visit an eye care professional. S. or better. Driving – restricted to daylight hours only  20/70 or better vision in one or both eyes. or better. working brakes. you cannot:  get help while taking the exam  help another person taking the exam  try to get test questions or answers before the exam  give another person exam questions or answers  use a cell phone during the exam A sample knowledge exam is in Section 8 of this manual and at www. A daylight driving only restricted license permits you to drive only during the period of time beginning a half-hour after sunrise and ending a half-hour before sunset. you must wear them when you drive. To have this restriction removed after having laser surgery to correct your vision. mirrors and speedometer. Only the applicant and the DMV staff member are allowed in the vehicle during the road skills test. You must provide a vehicle for the road skills test. horizontal vision in one or both eyes. lights. If you are home schooled. you can take the knowledge exam again. The completion date for the in-vehicle part must be after the date you failed the road test the third time. horn. a DMV staff member will ask you to look into a machine and read a series of letters or numbers. you will not be able to take it a fourth time until you complete and pass the in-vehicle part of driver education at a driver training school approved by DMV or the Department of Education. Road Skills Test You will need to take the road skills test if you do not hold a valid driver’s license from another U. turn signals. you must have horizontal vision of at least 30 degrees or better when looking toward your nose and 40 degrees or better when looking toward your temple.Section 1: Testing driver training school approved by DMV or the Department of Education. For applicants age 19 or older. When testing. Once you successfully complete the in-vehicle part and give DMV your certificate of completion. For applicants under 19.

Right turn on red: At some intersections you may turn right while the traffic light is red. you must come to a complete stop. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 5 . you must come to a complete stop. It is illegal to avoid these traffic controls by cutting through a parking lot or field.Section 2: Signals. bicycles and mopeds. come to a complete stop before you reach the intersection. You may not turn right if signs are posted at the intersection that read “No Turn on Red. Remain stopped unless turns are allowed on red. Traffic signals. stop line or crosswalk. It is important to understand and obey them. always follow the officer’s direction. bicycles and mopeds. moped-riders and pedestrians. signs and pavement markings are used for traffic In this section you’ll learn about:  Traffic signals  Traffic signs  Pavement markings  Painted curbs Obey all signs and signals unless directed by a police officer. bicyclists. Before turning. Look both ways and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic. Be sure to check for less visible vehicles such as motorcycles. Red light: At a red light. Before turning.” Left turn on red: You may turn left at a red light if you are on a one-way street and turning left onto another one-way street. Be sure to check for less visible vehicles such as motorcycles. orderly flow of traffic. Look both ways and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic. Traffic Signals Traffic signals apply to drivers. Signs and Pavement Markings control to provide a smooth. motorcycle riders.

Lane use signals indicate lanes where you can and cannot drive during different hours of the day. Triangle (Yield): You must slow down as you come to the intersection. Yellow light or arrow: A yellow light or arrow are cautions warning that the light is about to change.Section 2: Signals. Flashing yellow light: A flashing yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution. At a railroad crossing. You may go when the way is clear. Octagon (Stop): This eight-sided shape always means stop. you may go in the direction of the arrow if the way is clear. 6 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Signs and Pavement Markings Note: If you are traveling in another state. Green light or arrow: At a green light. the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right. Yellow X: A yellow X signal means that you should move out of the lane as soon as safely possible. allow the pedestrian to cross the street before turning. Rectangle (Regulatory or Guide): Vertical signs generally give instructions or tell you the law. Horizontal signs may give directions or information. pedestrian crosswalk or curb. such as heavy fog. If you have not entered the intersection. you may go if the way is clear. Green Arrow: You are permitted to drive in a lane marked with a green arrow signal. Be prepared to stop. Let any vehicles. Wait for any vehicle or pedestrian to clear the way. Red X: Never drive in a lane marked with a red X signal. If a traffic light changes from red to green while a pedestrian is in the street. you may be able to make out only the shape of a sign. you must come to a complete stop even if you don’t see a train. go through it. pedestrians or bicyclists safely pass before you proceed. At a green arrow. Traffic Signs The shape of a traffic sign communicates important information about the sign’s message. Flashing red light: At a flashing red light. If you get to the intersection at the same time as other vehicles. At some intersections you’ll find a sign beneath the stop sign that reads “All Way” or “4 Way. Diamond (Warning): These signs warn you of special conditions or hazards ahead. you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles coming from the other direction and pedestrians in the intersection. These signals are used often to reverse a lane’s direction. stop. They provide additional lanes for heavy morning and evening traffic. stop line. come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. In poor visibility conditions. Slow down and drive with caution. make sure you know its laws for right and left turns at red and red arrow lights. Be ready to stop. You must come to a complete stop at the sign.” At these intersections all vehicles on all roads leading into the intersection must stop. Flashing yellow lights are at locations with higher-than-normal hazardous conditions. Do not speed up to beat the light. If you are already in the intersection. If you are turning. Red arrow: Virginia law prohibits right and left turns at red arrow lights.

you must obey their instructions. Remember that a red circle with a slash means NO — the symbol inside the circle tells you what is prohibited. Traffic in the lane must turn in the direction of the arrow. then proceed with caution. Stop and look for oncoming traffic. you may receive a ticket for driving too fast for the conditions even if you are driving at or less than the posted speed limit. snow and ice. One Way: Traffic flows only in the direction of the arrow. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane. Also called rotaries or traffic circles.Section 2: Signals. these intersections may have one or more lanes. Speed Limit: These signs tell you the maximum legal speed that you may drive on the road where the sign is posted when weather conditions are good. Regulatory or guide signs inform you Left Turn Yield on Green: This sign is used with a traffic signal. Do Not Enter – Wrong Way: These signs mean you cannot drive in that direction. Lane Use Control: These signs are used where turns are required or where special turning movements are permitted for specific lanes.) No Turn on Red: You may not turn on the red light. Entering traffic must yield the right-ofway to traffic already in the circle. of the law. During rain. No Right Turn: Right turns are illegal. median or barrier is ahead. No Left Turn: Left turns are against the law. U-turns are considered as two left turns and are illegal if this sign is posted. Two signs may be used together to show the actual location of the crosswalk. High Occupancy Vehicle: These signs indicate lanes reserved for buses and vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers as specified on the sign. even if the way is clear. Do not make a U-turn when you see this sign. It tells you that the traffic turning left at a green light does not have the right-ofway and must yield to traffic coming from the other direction. If you drive past these signs you are going in the wrong direction and could get into a head-on crash with vehicles headed your way. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 7 . Keep to the side indicated by the arrow. Roundabout: These signs indicate a circular intersection with an island in the center is ahead. Do not make a right turn when you see this sign. In Virginia. Disabled Parking: Parking spaces marked with these signs are reserved for people with disabled parking permits. No U-Turn: U-turns are illegal. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. Signs may display horizontal lines indicating the point at which a crosswalk exists. Keep Right: A traffic island. Signs and Pavement Markings Pentagon (School Zone/School Crossing): This five-sided shape marks school zones and warns you about school crossings. Wait for the signal to turn green. Cautiously turn around. Do Not Pass: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone.

A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk. Merge: Two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction are about to become one. Pedestrian Crossing: Watch for people entering a crosswalk or crossing your path. Watch out for children crossing the street or playing. Keep right. Advisory Speed: This sign indicates the maximum safe speed for a highway exit. Drivers in the right lane must merge left when space opens up. Bicycle Crossing/Bike Path: Bicycles regularly cross or ride beside traffic in this area. Be ready to stop. Expansion Joints: This sign is used when a joint across lanes creates a bump or is wide enough to cause loss of traction in wet weather.) No Passing Zone: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. Signs may display horizontal lines showing the point where a crosswalk exists. Slow down. Signal Ahead: Traffic signals are ahead. Do not brake hard or change direction suddenly. Slow down and watch for other signs or signals that may follow. Keep right. Lane Reduction: The right lane ends soon. Hill: A steep grade is ahead.) Open Joints: Slow down. Deer Crossing: Deer cross the roadway in this area. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the bike crossing. Open joints on bridges or ramps could cause a motorcyclist to lose control of the motorcycle. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. be alert and be ready to stop. Increase the distance between your car and the one ahead of you. even if the way is clear. Divided Highway Begins: The highway ahead is split into two separate roadways by a median or divider and each roadway is one-way. Crossroad: A four-way intersection is ahead. Signs may display horizontal lines indicating the point where a crosswalk exists. Be ready to yield the right-of-way. Drivers in the left lane should allow other vehicles to merge smoothly. Signs and Pavement Markings Warning signs alert you to possible hazards ahead. Obey signals from any crossing guards. The speed limit is usually 25 MPH. Drive with caution. Slippery When Wet: When pavement is wet. Low Clearance Sign: The overpass ahead has a low clearance. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. Check your brakes. reduce your speed. Drivers in both lanes are responsible for merging safely. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane. 8 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . (Signs may also be bright yellowgreen. Divided Highway Ends: The highway ahead no longer has a median or divider.Section 2: Signals. Traffic goes in both directions. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Slow down and be ready to stop.) School Zone/School Crossing: Slow down. Do not proceed if your vehicle is taller than the height shown on the sign. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk.

Section 2: Signals. On all curves. listen. | 9 . never start across the tracks. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L Right Curve with Safe Speed Indicator: The road ahead curves right. Look. This will allow the rail company to stop or reroute approaching rail traffic until the hazard is removed. be alert. Stop when the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers. These signs warn you to look. Do not attempt to drive around the lowered gate. then left. may be painted on the pavement at the approach to some crossings. the tracks are clear. Flashing Lights and Gate: Gates are used with flashing light signals at some crossings. Railroad Crossbuck and Flashing Lights: Flashing lights may be used with crossbuck signs. Be especially alert at multi-track crossings because a second train could be approaching from the opposite direction. Sharp Right Turn: Slow down and be prepared for a sharp right turn in the road ahead. Remain stopped until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on. Crossbuck. Make sure there is room for your vehicle on the other side of the tracks before proceeding. Signs and Pavement Markings Side Road: A road joins from the right. slow down for better control. Always stop when the light begins to flash and be alert for approaching trains. slow down and be prepared to stop for trains. even when the lights are not flashing. consisting of an X and RR. call the number listed on the emergency sign. Note: School buses must always stop at railroad crossings. the sign below the crossbuck will indicate the number of tracks at the crossing. Pavement markings. Slow down. Right and Left Curves: The road ahead curves right. Railroad Crossing: Advance warning signs are placed before a railroad crossing. Low Ground Railroad Crossing: A steep slope where the railroad tracks cross the road may cause the bottom of low vehicles to get caught or drag on the tracks. Signal before turning right or left. Be sure to give the posted crossing number so that the hazard can be identified correctly. T Intersection: The roadway you are traveling on ends ahead. Y Intersection: You must bear either right or left ahead. If a dangerous condition exists at a rail crossing. Right Curve – Side Road: The road ahead curves right and a side road joins from the left within the curve. Railroad Crossbuck and Track Indicator: If there is more than one track. then left. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Winding Road: The road ahead winds with a series of turns or curves. Trains may approach the crossing at any time and from either direction. slow down and be prepared to stop for trains. listen. Do not proceed until all trains have passed. When approaching railroad tracks. and the lights are no longer flashing. Slow down to the safe speed limit indicated. Unless you can clear the tracks completely. Sharp Right and Left Turns: Slow down and be prepared for the road ahead to turn sharply right. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on. Railroad Crossbuck: This sign is a warning of a railroad crossing.

you may be fined up to $500.virginiadot. They provide information about traffic. blue. keep your vehicle in the middle of the lane and obey the posted speed limit. Get out of the car right away and run diagonally away from the tracks in the direction of the oncoming train. Unusual or potentially dangerous conditions are ahead. affect the roadway surface and create potentially difficult conditions for motorists. Don’t change lanes until you are completely clear of the work zone. Rough Road. If your car stalls on the tracks. road. Message Boards: You may see portable or permanent message boards along roadways. Slow down. When driving near the devices. such as loose gravel or road construction. drums and cones are the most common devices used to guide drivers safely through work zones. stay in your lane and maintain your speed. In a work zone. visit the Virginia Department of Transportation website at www. If you are convicted of exceeding the speed limit in a highway work zone. Signs and Pavement Markings Traffic Control Devices: Barricades. Slow Moving Vehicle: Vehicles that travel at 25 MPH or less. Always obey any directions posted on these message boards. Be prepared to adjust your speed or position when you see a vehicle with one of these signs. Flaggers: Flaggers are construction workers who normally wear orange or yellow vests. They use STOP/SLOW paddles and red flags to direct traffic through the work zone and to let other workers or construction vehicles cross the road. They may be used alone or in combinations. 10 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . don’t hesitate. especially motorcyclists. Remember. or yellow-green shirts or jackets. Broken yellow center lines mean that passing on the left is allowed in either direction when the way ahead is clear. must display these signs when using a public highway. Road Construction Ahead – Detour: These signs indicate a change in the traffic pattern or route ahead.org. or Uneven Lanes: These signs are used when certain road conditions. Markings may be red. Bump. yellow or white. For information about road conditions or road construction. Red markings or reflectors on the pavement show areas not to be entered or used. Pavement Markings Road markings guide and warn drivers as well as regulate traffic. Yellow center lines mean two-way traffic. Each has a different meaning. vertical signs. weather or other hazardous conditions. the color orange marks a work zone and means slow down. such as farm equipment and horse-drawn vehicles. the lives of highway construction workers depend on drivers like you obeying the posted speed limits. Flashing Arrow Panels: Large flashing arrow panels or flashing message signs in work zones direct drivers to proceed into different traffic lanes and inform them that part of the road ahead is closed. Blue markings show parking spaces for persons with disabilities. As you leave the work zone. concrete barriers.Section 2: Signals. flowing in opposite directions.

If you are in a lane marked with a curved arrow or a curved arrow and the word ONLY. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 11 .Section 2: Signals. Solid white lines show turn lanes and discourage lane changes near intersections. but not from the side of the solid line. Stop lines. Make sure that the way is clear. Signs and Pavement Markings A broken yellow line alongside a solid yellow line means that passing is allowed from the side of the broken line. you may turn or go straight. On an unmarked two-lane road. Arrows used with white lines indicate which turn may be made from the lane. crosswalks and parking spaces also are marked by white lines. Broken white lines separate lanes of traffic going in the same direction. White lane arrows are curved or straight. Passing is not allowed in either direction. Double solid yellow lines mark the center of the road and separate traffic traveling in two different directions. You may change lanes with caution. if necessary. you may pass a slow moving vehicle on the left side if there are no signs prohibiting passing. Yield line is a line of triangles extending across the roadway that may be used with a yield sign to show the point at which you must yield or stop. and at other locations where lane changes might be dangerous. You may not cross the lines unless you are making a left turn. If your lane is marked with both a curved and straight arrow. Many two-lane roads in Virginia do not have lane markings to separate the lanes. you must turn in the direction of the arrow. Yield ahead symbol is an outline of a triangle painted in the lane before the place where you must yield. Solid white lines also mark the right edge of pavement.

High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes are marked on highways by a diamond shape in the center of the lane. stand or park. Generally. the colors on the curb mean: White — Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers. HOV lanes are reserved for buses. drivers traveling in either direction may use the lane for making left turns. If both sides of the center lane are marked by a solid yellow line and a broken yellow line. motorcycles. carpools. drivers traveling in either direction may use the center lane for passing. 12 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . traffic flows one way. road markings show when drivers may use the center lane for making left turns or for passing. This means that during certain times of the day. If the lanes are separated by a barrier. other high occupancy vehicles. Red — Do not stop. A painted curb means that you must follow special rules to park there. If the center lane is marked by a single broken yellow line on both sides. During heavy traffic periods. Road signs show the minimum number of passengers a vehicle must carry (excluding motorcycles and clean fuel vehicles) to use the HOV lanes and the times that HOV restrictions are in effect. Stay with your car. Blue — Parking is reserved for persons with disabilities. and certain clean special fuel vehicles. they are reversible. they may not travel further than 150 feet in this lane. HOV lanes may also be special lanes separated by a barrier. vanpools. Check with the locality for specific meanings. During other times of the day. Signs and Pavement Markings On three-lane roads with traffic moving in both directions. However. traffic flows in the opposite direction. This diamond-shaped marking may also indicate that the lane is reserved for use as a bike lane or bus lane. Yellow — Stop only long enough to load or unload.Section 2: Signals.

V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 13 . your hands should be at the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions. and other motorists. If your steering wheel were a clock. Hold the wheel with your fingers and thumbs. Avoid gripping it with your palms. your passengers. and ensure the safety of you. Hand Position Sit straight but relaxed and place your hands on the steering wheel.Section 3: Safe Driving Every time you get behind the wheel. you accept In this section you’ll learn about:  Hand position  Speed limits  Stopping  Yielding the right-of-way  Roundabouts  Changing lanes  Over-correcting  Turning  U-turns  Turn signals  Maintaining a space cushion  Searching  Blind spots  Sharing the road  Backing  Parking  Visibility  Lights  Hazardous conditions  Dangerous driving behaviors  Traffic crashes  Traffic stops responsibility for your actions. pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadways. You must obey Virginia’s traffic laws.

Stopping Distance Three factors determine the distance that it takes to stop your vehicle: perception time. Maximum speed limit for passenger vehicles and motorcycles (unless posted otherwise) Type of highway or zone Interstate highways in certain rural areas Non-rural interstate highways.  at the scene of a crash in which you are involved When approaching a stop sign and the car in front of you proceeds. wet pavement can double your braking distance. red traffic lights and flashing red signals  when entering a street or crossing over a sidewalk from a driveway. By law. building or parking lot  at railroad crossings with flashing signals  when signaled by flaggers directing traffic  for pedestrians attempting to cross a street  at the direction of a police officer.  You do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway with a median or barrier dividing the road and the bus is on the opposite side of the median or barrier. reaction distance and braking distance. business and residential zones (You are required to travel 25 MPH in a school zone only when indicated by a sign or signal. Perception time: The time it takes you to recognize a hazard. For example. stop at the sign and proceed when the way is clear.  You must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading children and the signals are not on. but it is illegal to drive any faster.  You must stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign when you approach from any direction on a public or private road. Stopping for School Buses In the following pictures. If you don’t obey a law enforcement officer’s signal to stop and the officer pursues you and is killed as a direct result of the pursuit. reaction distance and braking distance are affected by weather. the condition of your brakes and tires. Otherwise. the red vehicles must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again. you must drive slower if conditions such as road construction or bad weather make the posted speed unsafe. Stop and remain stopped until all children are clear and the bus moves again. It is illegal to use a radar detector in Virginia. visibility. 14 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L .) Speed limit 65 MPH 55 MPH 35 MPH 25 MPH Stopping You must always stop your vehicle:  before a crosswalk  at all stop signs. You may drive slower than the posted speed. and the pavement condition. maintain the posted speed. Reaction distance: The distance your vehicle travels between the time you recognize a problem and the time you apply the brakes. you will be guilty of a Class 4 felony. Braking distance: The distance your car travels after you apply the brakes. and your mental and physical condition. Perception time.Section 3: Safe Driving Speed Limits A speed limit is the maximum legal speed you can travel on a road under ideal conditions. public roads not part of the interstate system Rural rustic roads School. alley. Braking distance is also affected by how fast your vehicle is traveling.

Remember that turns on red are especially hazardous to pedestrians.  Drivers entering any intersection or traffic circle must yield to traffic already in it. Approaching vehicles – opposite direction  When emergency vehicles approach you in the opposite lane on an undivided highway. Unless led by a police escort. Drivers must pay attention and obey the signs. Never cut through or join a military convoy. red. Yielding to Vehicles with Flashing Lights Drivers must take specific actions when they see vehicles with flashing or blinking blue.  You must yield to funeral processions. Roundabouts may have one or more lanes. Do not cut through. reduce your speed and proceed with caution. If you plan to turn right. yellow or white lights on roadways. join or interfere with a funeral procession. fire and rescue vehicles or ambulances approach you from behind your vehicle using a siren. Source: Code of Virginia Section 46. Each road approaching the roundabout is marked with a yield sign and may also have yield line markings on the pavement. Examples of yielding the right-of-way:  When two vehicles from different directions arrive at an intersection at different times.  When entering a roadway from a private road or driveway.  When two vehicles from different directions arrive at the same time at an intersection with no signs or signals. Safely pull over to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. If you plan to go straight. Use your turn signals to indicate where you want to go. If you plan to turn left. the driver on the left must allow the driver on the right to go first. level pavement.  If the traffic lights at an intersection are not working. Entering traffic must yield the right-of-way to traffic already in the circle. Check your vehicle owner’s manual and practice braking before you go out on the road. Remember. you must change to a lane not next to the emergency vehicle. rotaries and other circles may have stop signs.  You must yield to all military convoys. stay to the left as you enter the roundabout. all vehicles coming to the intersection must stop. Violations can result in court suspension of your driver’s license and demerit points on your driving record. you may stay in either lane (if it is a dual lane circular intersection). When approaching a roundabout.  You must yield for pedestrians who are crossing a street within a clearly marked crosswalk or at an unmarked intersection. be sure that you understand how they work. The driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.2-880 Stopped vehicles  When approaching a stopped vehicle with flashing lights on a four lane highway.  When police. stay to the right as you enter the roundabout. you must pull over to the edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. Approaching vehicles – same direction  Never follow an emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet when its lights are flashing.Section 3: Safe Driving Average stopping distance on dry. if you can change lanes safely. If you are unable to safely change lanes.  You may not park within 500 feet of where fire trucks or equipment are stopped answering an alarm. you must stop and yield to all traffic and pedestrians. you must immediately yield the right-of-way. circular intersections and traffic circles are all terms for intersections with a circular island in the center. Yielding the Right-of-Way Yield also means to stop if you cannot merge safely into the flow of traffic. flashing lights or both.  Drivers entering an interstate from an entrance ramp must yield the right-of-way to traffic already on the highway. rotaries. never pump antilock brakes. These requirements do not apply in highway work zones. Antilock Brakes If your vehicle has antilock brakes. However. Avoid conflict with pedestrians and permit them to cross the street safely. Roundabouts Roundabouts. slow down. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 15 . the lead vehicle in a funeral procession must obey all traffic signs and signals. the vehicle that arrives first goes first. Other drivers in the procession may follow carefully without stopping and may use hazard lights (flashers) to indicate they are in the procession.

Tips for driving safely through a roundabout:  As you approach the roundabout. check your side and rearview mirrors for traffic approaching you from behind. These signs should be posted along the roadside before you reach the roundabout. Use your vehicle’s right turn signal to let drivers around you know what you want to do.  when approaching or passing a person riding a bicycle. Maintain a steady speed or slow down.org/info/faq-roundabouts. Sometimes your entry point will be controlled by a stop or yield sign.virginiadot. stay in your lane until you are ready to exit. When the way is clear. You also must yield to any vehicles already in the roundabout.  While inside the roundabout. or traffic signal. reduce speed and pass at least two feet to the left. always use your turn signals and check traffic to the rear and sides. Quickly glance over your shoulder and check for any vehicles that may be in your blind spot. Be cautious because the vehicle you are passing may be blocking your view or blocking the view of other drivers. moped. entering or exiting a highway. This will help you know which exit to take. You may not pass on the right if you must drive off the pavement or main portion of the roadway to get around the other vehicle.  complete the pass before you reach a No Passing zone. When driving on a multi-lane highway.  When you arrive at the roundabout. slow down.  you may pass on the right if the vehicle you are passing has signaled and is making a left turn. you’re breaking the law. yield the right-ofway to pedestrians and bicyclists.asp. Just before you begin moving into the other lane. stay in the right lane if you are driving slower than the traffic around you. Whether you are changing lanes. or power-assisted bicycle or other device. Signal and then accelerate to pass. If you’re still in the left lane when you reach the zone. Then. you may enter the roundabout. Return to the right lane as soon as you can see the front of the passed vehicle in your rearview mirror. don’t speed up. quickly glance over your shoulder and check for any vehicles that may be in your blind spot. Passing When passing another vehicle:  check the traffic ahead of you. Check for other drivers who also may be moving into the same lane. Expect vehicles to be in blind spots you cannot see in your rearview or side mirrors. When being passed. look for the street and direction signs.  it is against the law to exceed the speed limit as you pass. 16 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L .Section 3: Safe Driving Changing Lanes Before changing lanes. More information about driving safely through a roundabout is available at the Virginia Department of Transportation web site at http://www. behind you and in your blind spot before you attempt to pass. passing.  Do not change lanes or take an exit before checking for vehicles that may be continuing through the roundabout in the lane next to you or behind you. use your turn signal to let other drivers know you plan to change lanes.

When you plan to change lanes. A driver should remain alert at all times. Most over-correction crashes are single vehicle crashes and are often preventable. ahead of the turn.Section 3: Safe Driving Passing is unlawful and unsafe:  on hills. In business districts. When making a U-turn. proceed into the outside or right hand lane traveling in the opposite direction. Over-correcting Over-correcting occurs when the driver turns the steering wheel more sharply than expected. and yield for approaching traffic. cities and towns. Keep your front wheels pointed straight ahead until you are actually going to make the left turn. check for No U-Turn or No Left Turn signs. curves. Before you make a U-turn. do not panic. both vehicles should turn in front of each other so that the passenger sides of the vehicles are beside each other. curved or straight. Never make a U-turn on a highway. Turn Signals Turning To make a right turn you should be in the lane closest to the curb. which is required by law. causing the rear wheels of the vehicle to slide toward the outside of the turn. be sure the turn signal stops flashing. When the way is clear. or enter or exit a highway. come to a complete stop before you make the turn. U-turns are allowed only at intersections. Look to your left to check the intersection for pedestrians and traffic coming from the other direction. except on roads with two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction  off the pavement or shoulder of the road  when a school bus is stopped to load or unload passengers on a public road (unless a physical barrier or unpaved median separates traffic going in either direction) or on a private road  when a solid line marks the left side of your lane When two vehicles are approaching each other and signaling to turn left. Signal your intent to turn by using the proper turn signal. This may result in the loss of vehicle control. checking the intersection for pedestrians and traffic coming from the opposite direction. signal three or four seconds. Hand Signals Left Turn Left hand and arm pointing straight out Right Turn Left hand and arm pointing upward Slow or Stop Left hand and arm pointing downward V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 17 . You should signal at least three to four seconds. Develop a good habit and use turn signals or hand signals even if no other traffic is on the road. Turn into the lane closest to the curb. Then brake smoothly before and during the turn. turn on your left-turn signal. You should signal at least three or four seconds. When the way is clear. ahead of your turn. first give the proper turn signal. ahead of the turn. 100 feet. stop. After you complete the turn or lane change. look in the direction you want to go. This prevents you from being pushed into oncoming traffic if another vehicle crashes into you from behind. and then change lanes if needed. Reduce speed and use extra caution while driving on curved roads. To make a left turn you should be in the furthest left lane possible. When you plan to turn. make the left turn. yield to any vehicles (including bicycles and pedestrians) approaching from the opposite direction. communicates your intended movement to drivers around you. If you veer off the road. drivers may pull out in front of you. Look in all directions. turn. If there is a traffic light or a stop sign at the intersection. Be alert. 100 feet. slowly steer back onto the roadway. Signal your intent to turn by using the proper turn signal. Gradually reduce your speed. U-Turns U-turns are not legal everywhere. Using your turn signal. Be aware that drivers planning to turn into your lane may not know exactly where you will turn. at intersections or railroad crossings. 100 feet.

three. Help the driver behind you by maintaining a safe following distance and a steady speed. This should encourage the tailgater to pass you or slow down. corner or other fixed mark. watch for hidden intersections and driveways. Expert drivers try to focus their eyes 20 to 30 seconds ahead. you’re following too closely. driver alertness. fence. on medication. Search for clues in the road. avoid staring at one thing. When driving in rural areas. and bicycles.  Begin counting the seconds it takes you to reach the same place in the road. Drivers need to change following distance when speed or road conditions change. move over to another lane. Tap your brakes to warn the driver behind you when you plan to slow down or stop. or gently tap your brakes to flash your brake lights and slow down. distracted. Watch for other vehicles. curves. Create a space cushion around your vehicle by staying in the middle of your lane. Searching Searching means looking at the entire scene for anything that might come into your path. etc. in seconds. speed. hills and different road conditions. Road conditions. allows the driver to steer and brake out of a problem areas. that equals approximately one block. add extra seconds to increase your following distance. Watch for pedestrians. sign. Scan from side to side. Hand response time is close to a half second. do not brake suddenly.  For bad weather conditions. heavy traffic. normally threequarters of a second. or four seconds. Foot response time is less. three. Look for exhaust smoke. Increase your following distance when driving:  behind a large vehicle that blocks your vision  in bad weather or heavy traffic  when exiting an expressway  behind a motorcycle  when being tailgated Tailgating is when the driver behind you is following too closely. depending on speed. Looking ahead will help you identify risks early and provide you with more time to react. especially trucks. such as an overpass.  If you reach the mark before you have counted off two. Use the two-. As you search the road.  Glance at the vehicle ahead as it passes a fixed object. brake or back-up lights and turned wheels on vehicles. checking for traffic signs and signals. bicyclists and other slow moving vehicles that may be in the road ahead. If you find yourself in this situation. 2 seconds 3 seconds 4 seconds Under 35 MPH 36-45 MPH 46-70 MPH Here’s how the following distance rule works. Slow down and increase your following distance. If possible. Make sure there is enough room ahead of your vehicle and behind it for other vehicles to pass or stop safely. and even following vehicles of different weights all change the ability to stop. cars or people that might be in the road by the time you reach them. This does not take into account any delay in perception time as a result of the driver being tired. oversized and slow-moving farm vehicles. Following Distance At these posted speeds and on dry surfaces.and four-second rule to determine if you are following far enough behind the vehicle ahead of you.Section 3: Safe Driving Maintaining a Space Cushion Space around your vehicle gives you distance to react in emergencies and avoid a crash. poor pavement or if your vehicle is in poor condition. 18 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Clues like these warn that the vehicles may pull into your path. Avoid staring at the middle of the road. this distance. In the city. Keep your eyes moving and learn to read the road and your surroundings.

look both ways to be sure it is clear. look to the left first. construction areas and playgrounds. A slight change or debris on the road surface Blind Spots Blind spots are danger areas that cannot be seen in the mirrors on either or both sides of the vehicle. the elderly and adults under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. At any intersection. Allow yourself plenty of braking distance by adding an extra second to the following distance rule. Mopeds: Under Virginia law. bicyclists. It is your responsibility to adjust your driving to avoid other drivers’ mistakes and assure everyone’s safety. This will alert you if someone is moving up too quickly or tailgating you. Whenever you reach a place in the road where other cars. Look for bicycles on all public roads.  Be careful around schools. As a driver. Slow down and be prepared to stop. steep hill. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 19 . Bicyclists are also expected to obey the same traffic rules and regulations as vehicle drivers. slowing down quickly or driving down a long.Section 3: Safe Driving Check from left to right and then left again before entering an intersection. They must carry some form of identification that includes name. Then look to the right and take one more quick look to the left before you drive through. In addition. the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle until it was too late. The best way to see a car in your blind spot is by quickly turning your head and glancing over your shoulder to ensure the way is clear before changing lanes or passing another vehicle. shopping centers. toy vehicles. people or animals may cross your path. backing up. recreational vehicles and other vehicles of all shapes and sizes. It is against the law to operate a bicycle or any electric power device such as assistive mobility devices. Motorcycles: Approximately half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve automobiles. who may have poor vision and hearing. Speed up or drop back. Use your rearview mirror to check the traffic behind you frequently. In inclement weather. back up or proceed through an intersection. the rider will use the entire lane as traffic situations and road conditions change.  Look out for the elderly. you may not operate a moped if you have been declared a habitual offender and your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated. many are children who may not know or obey the rules. the operator would be required to hold a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle classification or a driver’s license restricted to operating motorcycles only. Although a motorcycle is not as wide as the lane. turn. Always check for motorcycles before you pull out. These include intersections. treat moped riders with the same care given to any other vehicle driver. there are three types of pedestrians most often involved in accidents: children. The motor cannot be rated at more than two horsepower or enable the moped to travel more than 30 MPH. Look behind. Remember that the elderly and people with disabilities will move slowly. Give them plenty of room when passing and be prepared to stop suddenly. and bicycles on any interstate highway. address and date of birth. They have the right-of-way. Any person who operates a moped faster than 35 MPH is considered to be operating a motorcycle which must meet Virginia registration requirements. but they don’t expect to see two-wheeled vehicles. Avoid driving in someone else’s blind spot. A motorcycle’s small size also makes it difficult to see. Slow down when you approach bicyclists.  Anticipate the motorcyclist’s movements. Check the traffic behind you when changing lanes. In more than half of all crashes involving motorcycles and automobiles. crosswalks.  Be especially aware of pedestrians when making a right or left turn on red. Allow pedestrians to completely cross the street before beginning your turn. This can be just as dangerous as not checking your own blind spot. but. Many crashes are caused by the motorist’s failure to see a motorcycle in traffic. Drivers are conditioned to look for four-wheeled vehicles. Although you do not need a driver’s license to operate a moped. about every 10 seconds.  Never tailgate a motorcycle (or any other vehicle). Sharing the Road Drivers share the road with many other users: pedestrians. change lanes.  Check your blind spots. however. Pedestrians: Generally.  Be alert for pedestrians at all times. a moped is a bicycle-like device with pedals and a motor. playgrounds and in residential areas where small children may be playing or crossing the street. A motorcycle’s small size allows it to slip into your blind spot easily. trucks and buses. since cars coming from the left will be closer to you.  Look for motorcyclists. double this distance. don’t stay in the other driver’s blind spot. Moped riders must be at least age 16 and obey all rules of the road. Bicycles: Bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same right-of-way as motor vehicles. moped and motorcycle riders. It is against the law to operate a moped faster than 35 MPH or on an interstate highway.

Low speed vehicles may be operated on public roads with speed limits of 35 MPH or less by licensed drivers or learner’s permit holders accompanied by a licensed driver. These No-Zones or blind spots are much larger than your car’s blind spots. then he can’t see you. check twice for motorcycles and use extra caution before you pull out in front of one. Light to Medium Trailers: These trailers are attached to midsized cars and trucks with safety chains and a trailer hitch. Trucks. higher and wider than other vehicles.  Wide Turns: Trucks. stop. cross bars and flashing lights are not typically provided at highway crossings. Before pulling a trailer on public roads. campers and travel trailers – are longer. front and rear also include blind spots where your car disappears from the driver’s view. When passing.com/light_rail_safety/lightrail_safety.  Never stop or park your car on light rail tracks. perform a safety inspection before each trip. buses and RVs have huge No-Zones directly behind them. Warning bells. They can’t see the cars directly behind or beside them. These vehicles need nearly twice the time and room to stop as cars. find a location such as a vacant parking lot to practice and get the feel for how your vehicle and trailer will handle. bus or RV brakes or stops suddenly.  Yield to motorcycles. their blind spots may stretch up to 20 feet in front of the cab and approximately 200 feet behind the vehicle. Ensure:  the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact  the hitch coupler is secured  safety chains are properly attached  the electrical plug is properly installed  brake lights. bus or RV if you cut in front too soon after passing the vehicle or if you cut in front and then suddenly slow down. Light Rail: The Tide in Norfolk is a light rail vehicle that shares the road with automobile traffic as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. look for the entire front of the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front. The small size of a motorcycle can cause you to misjudge the motorcycle’s speed and distance. buses and recreational vehicles (RVs) – including motor homes.ridethetide. and license plate lights are functioning properly. tractor-trailers. They accelerate slowly and require greater stopping and turning distances. shtml. Learn more about driver safety near The Tide light rail at http://www. accelerate and turn. Light rail vehicles are quiet.  Be careful turning across train tracks. buses and RVs sometimes need to swing wide to the left or right to safely make a turn.  Front No-Zone: You could get rear-ended by a truck. 20 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . In fact. Golf carts are not classified as low speed vehicles.  Side No-Zones: Trucks. No-Zones on the side. buses and RVs have big No-Zones on both sides that are dangerous because these vehicles must make wide turns. Remember the No-Zones described under Trucks. it takes the vehicle twice as long to pass. Never try to squeeze between a truck. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side view mirror. Tractor-Trailers.  Expect trains on any track at any time. A truck and its trailer may be as long as 65 feet and it may take you more than half a mile of clear road to pass. Always maintain a safe following distance. tractortrailers. Towing a trailer places additional stress on the vehicle. turn signals. Low speed vehicles must comply with all federal safety standards and must meet Virginia’s requirements for passenger vehicle registration and insurance coverage. These areas are called No-Zones. Learning the No-Zones can save your life.  Rear No-Zone: Trucks. The truck. you have no place to go and could crash into the vehicle’s rear-end. maintain your speed. bus and RV drivers would be forced to slam on their brakes. there are danger areas around these vehicles where crashes are more likely to occur. Never drive in the motorcyclist’s lane. Buses and RVs: Trucks. And then. Large side mirrors are generally needed to increase visibility. If the truck. Expect the motorcycle to make sudden moves within the lane. or race a light rail vehicle through an intersection. Look both ways before crossing the tracks. tractor-trailers. Low Speed Vehicles: These electrically powered four-wheel vehicles have a maximum speed ranging from 21 to 25 MPH. Before driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached. bus or RV and the curb or another vehicle.Section 3: Safe Driving can be a major obstacle for a motorcyclist. Before pulling out into traffic. if possible. The driver can’t see your car behind his vehicle and you can’t see what’s happening in traffic ahead of his vehicle.  Never drive around. TractorTrailers and RVs. When driving near light rail vehicles:  Pay attention and obey all traffic signals. Plus.

If you cannot see where you are backing up. park on the right side of the road. Reducing your speed should be your first response to decreased visibility and dangerous road conditions. use your right hand to move the wheel to the right. turn on your headlights to make your vehicle more visible to others. Parking on a hill With a curb: Turn the front wheels of your vehicle to prevent it from rolling into the street. fog. steer toward your target  when backing up. place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. the rear of the vehicle will roll away from traffic. You must use headlights from sunset to sunrise. park on either side. To be a good driver. You may not park more than one foot from the curb. Without a curb: Turn the front wheels so that if the vehicle rolls. Turn on your headlights. where to look. Parking downhill — no curb Turn front wheels right Parking uphill — no curb Turn front wheels right Night Driving At sunset.Section 3: Safe Driving When driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached:  always allow for the added length of the trailer when you change lanes  if your trailer starts to sway. move as far from traffic as possible. You must use your headlights at night and at other times when it’s hard to see. If you park on a shoulder. Hazardous Conditions Driving becomes hazardous when visibility is reduced or when the road surface is covered with rain. Visibility Most of what you do while driving depends on what you see. You must look down the road. You must use your headlights whenever you use your windshield wipers as a result of bad weather. pull over as far on the shoulder as possible. To back the trailer to the right. turn your body and head to the right and look out through the rear window. snow or sleet when visibility is reduced to 500 feet. you need to know what to look for. and how to adjust to possible problems. Parking When parking on a public road. use your left hand to move the wheel left. To back the trailer to the left. Increase your space cushion by doubling your normal following distance from three seconds to six seconds (refer to the Maintaining a Space Cushion section for more information). ambulance or rescue squad station  within 500 feet of where fire trucks or equipment are stopped answering an alarm  within 50 feet of a railroad crossing  in such a way that you block or create a hazard for other vehicles in a designated traffic lane Backing The most common mistake that drivers make when backing up is failing to look both ways behind them. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 21 . You must also be alert for unexpected events. If you park next to a curb. The single biggest contributor to crashes is failing to identify a risk. To see as much as possible. as soon as light begins to fade. to the sides. Back up slowly and check for pedestrians and approaching traffic by glancing quickly to either side. snow or ice. On a two-way street. On a oneway road. You must be alert and pay attention to what is going on around you. have someone outside to help guide you. Mirrors do not give you a full view. Parking downhill — with curb Turn front wheels right Parking uphill — with curb Turn front wheels left Lights Virginia law requires motorists to use headlights during inclement weather such as rain. You may not park:  beside another parked vehicle (double parking)  on crosswalks or sidewalks  in front of driveways  within areas where parking is prohibited by curbs painted yellow or No Parking signs  in a parking space reserved for disabled persons  on the hard surface of a road when no curb is present  within 15 feet of a fire hydrant  within 20 feet of an intersection  within 15 feet of the entrance to a fire. pull close to it. and behind your vehicle.

You have the most traction and control when the front tires are rolling. your vehicle will respond more effectively to steering while moving more slowly than hard braking. passing on the right (including on the shoulder and unpaved portions of the road). and not yielding the right-of-way are common actions of young distracted drivers. Bridges freeze before other road surfaces. apply the brakes gently. Use your low-beam headlights to see and be seen. Use low-beam headlights in heavy fog and look for road edge markings to guide you. these high-risk drivers take out their anger on other motorists. When you brake. the vehicle may move into a high risk situation. When rain begins. mirrors and front and rear lights of snow or ice so you can see and communicate with other drivers. Dangerous Driving Behaviors Aggressive Driving This dangerous driving behavior is defined by Virginia law as the intent to harass. Glance toward the side of the road. Even light fog reduces visibility and your ability to judge distances. eating. then look quickly ahead to determine the other vehicle’s position. drivers should not use cell phones. during the first half-hour. injure or obstruct another person while committing one or more traffic offenses such as failing to stop or yield the right-of-way. There are many distractions that may prevent drivers from focusing on driving: changing the radio or CD. Therefore. Annually. Inexperience in handling or controlling a vehicle during an emergency Snow Remove snow and ice from your entire car. Distracted Driving Driving requires your full attention. Protect yourself. do not turn on your high-beam headlights. using wipers for sprinkles may smear the windshield and make it hard to see. Other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas are especially difficult to see when it’s raining. Snow and ice left on the car can fly off when the vehicle is moving and create a hazard for other motorists. 22 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Young distracted drivers are even more susceptible. computers or other distracting devices except to report a crash or emergency. Failure to maintain proper control. When on the road. Virginia law prohibits drivers under age 18 from using cell phones or any other wireless communication device while driving except in a driver emergency and the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped. use low-beams whenever you are within 200 feet of the vehicle ahead. Equip your car with all-weather snow tires or chains to help prevent skidding and reduce stopping distance. Slow down before stopping or turning. Rain Driving in heavy rain can be as hazardous as driving in fog. tailgating. If you see an aggressive driver. screaming. When aggressive drivers are behind the wheel. unless another vehicle is within 500 feet coming toward you. Remember. intimidate. using a cell phone and more. driver distraction accounts for roughly 20 percent of all traffic crashes in Virginia. avoiding a traffic control device or failing to give way to an overtaking vehicle. Avoid eye contact and ignore his gestures and shouting.Section 3: Safe Driving Use low-beams when driving in cities and towns. avoid looking directly at the bright lights. Be sure to clear all of your windows. Don’t challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or trying to out-maneuver him. especially if the wind is blowing. The driver then loses precious seconds before recognizing the situation and must make an emergency maneuver. except on streets where there is no lighting. They break the law by running stop signs and red lights. observing outside surroundings. Even if the other driver does not dim his headlights. turn on your windshield wipers before visibility is blocked. making improper and unsafe lane changes. When driving on slippery surfaces and you need to stop. following too closely. roads are more likely to be slippery due to oil on the road surface mixing with water. Driving on packed snow is similar to driving on ice. Their frustration levels run high while their concerns for fellow motorists runs low. pull over and stop the vehicle in a safe location. including the roof. Use high-beam headlights on highways. so slow down. When following. Why is distracted driving so deadly? Because while the driver is distracted. Fog Fog reflects light and can reflect your own headlights back into your eyes. hood and rear of the vehicle. Keep doing this until you have passed the other vehicle. your license could be suspended for ten days or for as long as six months. stay out of the way. Switch to low-beams whenever you meet oncoming traffic to avoid blinding the other driver. if you are convicted of aggressive driving. honking and flashing their lights. In light rain or drizzle. speeding. apply brakes gently. If the highbeams of an oncoming car are on. as well as making hand and facial gestures. Text messaging or reading of text messages while driving is illegal for all drivers. weaving in and out of traffic. before you start driving. talking to passengers. When engaging in distracting behavior. Watch for ice on bridges and in shady areas.

keep your body alert. One drink taken when you are on another drug – even an aspirin. however. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 23 . but relaxed. pills and tablets.08 percent. The consequences can be just as fatal. Many over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs for headaches. Almost any drug can reduce your ability to drive safely. Wait at least 10 minutes after waking up to see how alert you are.) puts them at greater risk of a crash. drops.  Set or adjust the controls on the vehicle and other devices as soon as you get in the car and before you begin driving.  Anticipate the traffic and environment around you by searching ahead and checking your rearview mirrors often. Combining alcohol with other drugs usually multiplies the effects of both and can have a disastrous effect on your ability to drive. blurred vision and weaving while driving are some of the warning signs that you may be on the verge of falling asleep at the wheel. awareness is decreased.08 percent or higher. Talk with passengers but not to the point of distraction.  Avoid caffeine drinks. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel:  Get plenty of quality sleep before a trip.  Avoid alcoholic beverages and heavy foods. your chances of being in a crash are seven times greater if you drive after drinking than if you drive sober.Section 3: Safe Driving situation combined with distracted driving (cell phone use. Also. Take the following precautions. drive with a companion and switch drivers when necessary.  If possible. you may face the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol. cold showers or exercise will not sober you up. Drowsy Driving Constant yawning. Remember. Researchers estimate that between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM three out of every ten drivers are drunk.  Beware of medications that can impair your driving ability.02 or higher. Your reaction time is slower. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Making the decision not to drive is a lot more difficult after one or two drinks. there’s a 50-50 chance that you’ll be involved in an alcohol-related crash. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you. alcohol affects judgment. Make sure there is enough room ahead of your vehicle and behind it. no amount of caffeine will help. allergies or nervous conditions can cause drowsiness and dizziness. heavy eyelids. Driving while you are sleepy reduces your ability to drive effectively. They often affect driver alertness and slow reaction time. Nearly 50 percent of the drivers arrested for DUI are social to moderate drinkers. If your driving is impaired because you are under the influence of any drug. other passengers. Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors often.  Stop at a safe place and take a nap. sit straight. Coffee. Just one alcoholic drink can affect your driving ability because even a small amount of alcohol affects the brain’s functions – particularly vision.  Do not use a cell phone. sprays. Twelve ounces of beer is the same as a shot of liquor or a five-ounce glass of wine. or allergy or cold medicine – could have the same effect on your driving ability as drinking several alcoholic beverages.  Maintain a space cushion around your vehicle. don’t drive. eyes not on the road. Only time can decrease intoxication. if you are seriously sleep deprived. If under age 21. and coordination. Often the actions of tired drivers are confused with drivers who had been drinking. head nodding.  Concentrate. In your lifetime. Drive to social events in groups of two or more and have the driver agree not to drink.  Limit long distance driving. Alcohol-related crashes are not accidents. drivers age 21 or older are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is . colds. This includes syrups. Because alcohol affects your judgment and driving ability. More than one-third of these drivers have been drinking at someone else’s home. and judgement is impaired. hay fever. you can be convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC lower than . It’s not just illegal drugs that cause problems. Drinking and Driving Legally. They can be prevented! The only way to avoid the risks of drinking and driving is to decide before you start drinking that you are not going to drive. Stop at least every two hours for rest.  If possible. If your driving is impaired. etc. Find a place to sleep for an hour or for the night. avoid driving when drowsiness is most likely. from10 PM to 6 AM. It’s best to stay off the road. Don’t let this happen to you.  Keep the temperature cool in your vehicle. you can be convicted of DUI if your BAC is . They provide a short-term boost. If you don’t feel any more alert. Look in the direction that you want to go. judgment.

Look for warnings about side effects.  If the officer is driving an unmarked car or is not in uniform. ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.  You will be asked to sign the citation. You must make a reasonable effort to find the owner of an unattended vehicle or other property damaged in a crash. If you cannot locate anyone. If you’re uncertain about the effects of a drug.500. Ask your passengers to keep their hands in plain view also. Traffic Stops If you are stopped by a police officer:  Remain calm. you must:  stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the scene as possible without blocking traffic. You may move the vehicles before the police arrive if the vehicles create a traffic hazard. Law enforcement officers are required to forward a written crash report to DMV when a traffic crash results in injury or the death of any person or total property damage is in excess of $1.  Carry proper identification: a valid driver’s license. You will have your chance to make your case when you go to court.  give any help you can if someone is injured. Or. tell him where they are and reach for them slowly. Be sure to get the following information:  name. You must also report the crash to the police within 24 hours. Do not attempt to move an injured person from a wrecked vehicle unless you have the necessary medical training or there is an immediate danger such as fire.  exchange information with other people involved in the crash as soon as possible. while the effects may vary among users. and a description of the damage.  Keep your hands in plain view. Traffic Crashes If you are involved in a traffic crash. This is not an admission of guilt.  Keep your safety belt fastened and ask your passengers to keep their belts fastened. leave a note that can be found easily at the scene of the crash.  Stay in your vehicle. proof of vehicle registration and proof of insurance. All crash information will be recorded on the DMV records of each driver involved in the crash. preferrably on the steering wheel.  Do not make any movement that will make the officer think you are hiding or reaching for something. address and insurance policy number of other vehicle owners  notify your insurance company immediately. no drug is harmless. 24 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . telephone number. personal injury or death must be reported to the police.  Turn off your engine. Include your name. politely ask the officer questions to clarify. radio and any other device that could block communication with the officer. Remember that. keeping one hand on the steering wheel. Do not get out unless the officer asks you to. address and driver’s license number of other drivers  license plate numbers of other vehicles  name and address of anyone who was injured  name and address of each witness  name.  Roll down your window so that you can communicate with the officer. the date and time of the crash. If you don’t understand something. If the officer asks for these documents.  If the officer issues you a citation.  Answer the officer’s questions fully and clearly.  report the crash to the police as quickly as possible. Refusal to sign the citation may result in your arrest. Motor vehicle crashes involving property damage. do not argue with the officer about the citation.  Turn on your flashers.Section 3: Safe Driving Read the label before taking any drug or medicine. ask to see his or her identification.  Pull off to the right side of the roadway. you may be required to go to the police station. Position your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible.

Remember to wear your lap belt low on your lap and against your thighs. Exception: A waiver of the seat belt requirement may be granted by a licensed physician if the use of a safety belt is not reasonable due to the driver’s or passenger’s physical or medical condition. can double your chances of surviving a crash and more than double your chances of avoiding serious injury. Air Bags Air bags. Your shoulder and lap belts should be snug without any slack. neck and chest from hitting the steering column or dashboard. Wear your shoulder belt over your shoulder and across your chest. Pregnant women are much safer if buckled up by wearing the belt as low on the pelvis as possible.Section 4: Seat Belts. Seat Belts In this section you’ll learn about:  Seat belts  Air bags  Child safety seats Under Virginia law. Air Bags and Child Safety Seats also called safety belts. the driver and all front seat passengers must wear safety belts. Wearing seat belts. the air bag keeps the head. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 25 . when used properly with safety belts. cushion drivers and passengers as they move forward in a front-end crash. Never wear your shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm. By providing a cushion. A driver transporting anyone younger than age 18 must ensure that the passenger is properly secured in a safety belt. The person granted the waiver must carry the physician’s signed written statement identifying the person with the waiver and the reason for the waiver. booster seat or child safety seat no matter where the child is seated in the vehicle.

including applying for an on/off switch.  The safest place to install a child safety seat is in the center of the back seat. Air Bags and Child Safety Seats If your vehicle is equipped with air bags:  Always buckle up and have all passengers in the vehicle buckle up. turn it on.dot.  Never hold a child in your lap.  Children ages 12 and under are safer buckled up in the back seat.  Numerous child safety seat checks are held in localities across Virginia. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag turned on. station wagons or vans. tilt it downward.Section 4: Seat Belts. This points the air bag toward your chest instead of your head and neck. For more information about air bags. All children under age eight must be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat when riding in vehicles manufactured after January 1. A second or subsequent offense could mean a $500 penalty. When traveling with children:  Children from birth to age 12 months ride facing the rear.  Never leave a hatchback open when a child is riding in the back seat.nhtsa. A waiver of this law may be granted by a licensed physician if the use of a child restraint would be unreasonable due to the child’s weight.  Children ages one through seven ride facing forward in a child safety seat or booster seat. The driver is responsible for making sure that children are properly secured.  Make sure that all car doors are securely closed and locked before driving. Don’t allow children to play with door handles or locks.  It is illegal to transport children under age 16 in the bed of a pickup truck. 1968. a rear facing child seat may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger air bag is turned off. you will be fined $50. If you are convicted of violating the child restraint law. If your car is equipped with a child safety lock.  Move your seat back so that you are at least ten inches from the steering wheel. 26 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Child Safety Seats Securing a child in a correctly installed child safety seat can significantly reduce the possibility of death or injury. even if equipped with a camper shell.gov or toll-free hotline at 1-800-424-9393. If the vehicle does not have a back seat.  If your steering wheel is adjustable. Attend one of these checks to make sure that your child’s safety seat is installed correctly.00. contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at www. In a crash.  Never allow children to ride in the luggage area of hatchbacks. If you must open a door. the child may be crushed between your body and the dashboard. physical fitness or other medical reasons. The person responsible for transporting this child must carry the signed written statement by the physician identifying the child and stating the grounds for the waiver. pull the vehicle off the road and come to a complete stop.

If your license is suspended. your driving privilege may be suspended or revoked by the court and/or DMV.Section 5: Penalties or repeatedly violate the laws of Virginia. you will be required to show proof of legal presence.S. road skills and vision exams to have your driving privilege reinstated. During the suspension period. You must successfully complete the vision screening. suspensions and revocations  Driver Improvement Program  Medical review program  Insurance monitoring program  Suspension for failing to satisfy child support-related requirements  Alcohol and the law  Administrative License Suspension  Open alcohol containers in vehicles  Transporting children while under the influence of alcohol/drugs  Vehicle impoundment  Restitution  Alcohol related violations and penalties involving persons under age 21 Conviction-Related Suspensions and Revocations The court or DMV will suspend or revoke your privilege to drive if you are convicted of any of the following offenses:  operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)  injuring another person as a result of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs  operating a motor vehicle while suspended or revoked for a DUI V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 27 .S. Also. you must show proof of legal presence and pass the two-part knowledge. You may pay the required fees and reinstate your license at the end of the suspension period. two-part knowledge exam and road skills tests and pay the required fees when you re-apply. your privilege to drive has been withdrawn temporarily. Your driving privilege may be restored if you re-apply for a driver’s license and show proof of legal presence after the revocation period has passed. which means you are either a U. if your license has been expired for one year or more. If you break certain laws In this section you’ll learn about:  License suspension  License revocation  Conviction-related suspensions and revocations  Other DMV requirements. citizen or legally authorized by the federal government to be in the U. Revocation means that your privilege to drive has been terminated.

Age 18 or Older: DMV will require you to complete a driver improvement clinic if you accumulate 12 demerit points within 12 months or 18 points within 24 months. Refer to the DMV website under Reinstating Driving Privileges and Restricted Driving Privileges for information on other reasons for suspensions/revocations. Under Age 18: If you are convicted of a demerit point traffic violation (or safety belt/child restraint violation) committed when you were under age 18. For more information. the court will suspend your driving privilege.dmvNOW. four or six demerit points. If you do not complete the clinic within 90 days. If you do not complete the clinic within 90 days. For more detailed information on the Driver Improvement Program for juveniles and adults and the actions taken by DMV. or appearing for another person to renew a license  eluding police The court may suspend or revoke your driving privilege if you are convicted of the following offenses:  reckless or aggressive driving  operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license  driving while your license is revoked or suspended for a non-DUI related conviction  refusing to take a blood/breath test when charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs  failing to pay for gas If you are convicted of any traffic or criminal convictions and you fail to pay your court fines and costs within 15 days. DMV will suspend your driving privilege for 90 days and require that you complete a driver improvement clinic. After your second conviction for a demerit point traffic violation (or safety belt/child restraint violation) committed when you were under age 18.com or DMV customer service centers. DMV is responsible for maintaining a driving record of all convictions received from the court. DMV will suspend your driving privilege. refer to the 28 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Moving Violations and Points Assessment (DMV 115) publication available at www. DMV will suspend your driving privilege for 90 days. If you receive 18 demerit points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months.Section 5: Penalties  operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with the ignition interlock device when it is required by the court or DMV  making a false statement to DMV  failing to stop and identify yourself at the scene of a crash if someone has been injured or killed  voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle  involuntary manslaughter resulting from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol  committing a drug offense. When convictions are added to your record. When DMV receives a report that a driver may have a physical or mental condition that affects his ability to drive safely. whichever is longer. Medical Review Program DMV is responsible for making sure that drivers are able to safely operate motor vehicles. regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle is involved  committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle  taking a driver’s license exam for another person.com or A Different Kind of Crash Course (DMV 114) brochure. and eligibility for restricted driving privileges. DMV also monitors your driving record to see how many demerit points you receive within a 12-month and 24-month period. The court may offer you the option to enter into an installment payment agreement if you are unable to pay the total amount. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you complete the clinic and pay a reinstatement fee. DMV may require you to submit a medical or vision report completed by your physician and/or to pass the two-part knowledge exam and/or road skills test. a medical review of the driver may be conducted. Other DMV Requirements. Age 18 or 19: DMV will require you to complete a driver improvement clinic if you are convicted of a demerit point or safety belt/child restraint violation committed while you were age 18 or 19.dmvNOW. refer to www. DMV will require that you complete a driver improvement clinic. DMV assigns demerit points to traffic offenses and moving violations. requirements to reinstate your driving privilege. DMV is concerned about any condition that impairs the driver’s:  level of consciousness  perception (vision)  judgment  motor skills Depending upon the situation. Suspensions and Revocations Driver Improvement Program If you are a Virginia resident. Convictions may be assigned three. Your third conviction will result in a revocation of your driving privilege for one year or until you reach age 18.

or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. When registering a motor vehicle. Open Alcohol Containers in Vehicles You may be charged with drinking while operating a motor vehicle if you:  are stopped by law enforcement and you have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area and the contents have been partially removed. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 29 . or  end the medical review with no other requirements If DMV suspends your driving privilege as a result of medical review action.000.000. your driving privilege will be automatically suspended:  for seven days. the court and DMV will impose a suspension/revocation and other penalties in addition to the administrative license suspension. Alcohol and the Law If you are arrested for drinking and driving.com for more detailed information on Insurance Monitoring activities by DMV. or  fail to appear in court or comply with a subpoena. Under implied consent laws. you can be arrested for DUI within three hours of the crash without a warrant and at any location. If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash and a law enforcement officer has probable cause. Administrative License Suspension If your BAC is . you must sign a statement on the registration application that you have liability insurance coverage for your motor vehicle.dmvNOW. for more detailed information on the Medical Review Program. You may also be charged an additional fine of at least $500 and up to $1. Medical Fitness for Safe Driving (MED 80). including an unlocked glove compartment. the suspension/revocation periods will run consecutively. for a third DUI offense If you are convicted of DUI. A second DUI offense with a juvenile in the vehicle carries an additional 80-hour community service requirement plus all other fines and jail sentences. Insurance Monitoring Program DMV is responsible for making sure that all owners of vehicles with a valid registration comply with the Virginia laws on insurance requirements. summons or warrant related to paternity or child support hearings Refer to the DMV website under Reinstatement for information on eligibility for restricted driving privileges and requirements to reinstate your driving privilege. if you operate a motor vehicle on Virginia’s public roads. they will ask you to take a breath or blood test. you agree to take a test upon request. Transporting Children While Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs Conviction of any DUI offense involving a juvenile passenger (age 17 or younger) in the vehicle at the time of the offense carries an additional mandatory five-day jail term plus all other fines and jail sentences. If the police have probable cause to stop you and suspect that you have been drinking or using drugs. for a first offense  for 60 days or until you go to trial. you will not be required to present legal presence proof documents to reinstate your driving privilege unless required to do so for another suspension/revocation or your license expires. DMV will suspend your driving privilege if:  you do not submit the requested insurance policy information to verify that you have liability insurance coverage  there is a break in your insurance policy coverage and you do not return your license plates to DMV Refer to www. If you receive multiple DUI convictions. the penalties are severe. Suspensions for Failing to Satisfy Child Support-Related Requirements The Division of Child Support Enforcement will direct DMV to suspend your driving privilege if you:  are late making child support payments by 90 days or $5. Refer to the DMV publication.08 percent or higher while you are driving and law enforcement charges you with driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs or refusing a breath test. whichever comes first. and  show signs that you have been drinking The passenger area means the area that seats the driver and passengers and any area within the driver’s reach. for a second offense  until the trial.Section 5: Penalties Once the medical review is completed. DMV will decide whether to:  suspend your driving privilege  restrict your driving privilege  require you to submit periodic medical and/or vision reports.

and 12 months in jail. The court can impound the vehicle for an additional 90 days if you are convicted.08. If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol.000) for law enforcement. you cannot purchase.08 or higher. and  face mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months but not more than one year 30 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L .500. the court penalty will include:  a suspension of your driving privilege for one year from the date of conviction. Providing Alcoholic Beverages: If you provide or sell alcoholic beverages to a person under age 21 or someone who is intoxicated or ordered by a court to refrain from drinking alcohol. your vehicle will be impounded by law enforcement if you operate a motor vehicle without a license after you have previously been convicted of driving without a license. mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year. whichever is less. you are subject to a fine up to $2. Misrepresentation of Age: If you are under age 21 and you use or attempt to use a fake ID to establish a false age in an attempt to drink or purchase alcohol.Section 5: Penalties Vehicle Impoundment Your vehicle will be impounded immediately for 30 days if you are caught driving after your license has been suspended for an alcohol-related offense. Restitution Depending on the laws of the city or county in which you are driving. The vehicle will remain impounded until you obtain a license or for three days. possess or consume alcohol. you may be responsible for paying the cost (up to $1. emergency medical services. Alcohol Related Violations and Penalties Involving Persons Under Age 21 Purchasing/Consuming Alcohol: If you are under age 21. and your BAC was at least . If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol and your BAC was . fire fighters and rescue personnel who respond to a crash or incident resulting from your DUI violation.02 percent and less than . or  the requirement that you complete at least 50 hours of community service. Also. and  a minimum mandatory fine of $500. you will:  be fined at least $500  be required to perform at least 50 hours of community service  face up to 12 months in jail. you may face the same penalties as an adult.

For more information about obtaining a learner’s permit. The driver with you must hold a valid driver’s license. halfbrother.com or DMV customer service centers.com and DMV customer service centers. stepbrother or stepsister. The licensed driver with you may be age 18. available at www. sentenced to jail. You could be fined.dmvNOW. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 31 . In this section you’ll learn about:  Learner’s Permit  Driver’s License  Commercial Driver’s License  School Bus Driver’s License  Motorcycle Learner’s Permit  Motorcycle Driver’s License  International Driver’s License Learner’s Permit A learner’s permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated in the front passenger seat. Driver’s License A driver’s license allows you to operate any vehicle or small truck less than 26.dmvNOW.Section 6: License Types you must carry a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit with you. For more information about obtaining a driver’s license. refer to the Basic Steps to Your Driver’s License (DMV 142) publication. half-sister. Any misuse of your driver’s license or learner’s permit is illegal. brother. Whenever you drive.001 pounds that is exempt from commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. 19 or 20 if he or she is your legal guardian. refer to the Parents in the Driver’s Seat (DMV 16) publication available at www. sister. or your license may be suspended. be alert and able to assist you while you are driving.

S. passenger buses.dmvNOW. you may obtain a driver’s license restricted to a Class M that only allows you to operate a motorcycle. For more information. you may add a Class M to your license. refer to the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual (DMV 2). These permits are issued by your local AAA. licensed to operate a motorcycle. available at www. Motorcycle Driver’s License If you wish to operate a motorcycle in Virginia. No one.S. For more information. International Driver’s License An international driver’s license is not a valid driver’s license and does not allow you to drive. you do not need to obtain a commercial driver’s license. refer to the Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual (DMV 60). International driver’s licenses marketed by private sector businesses are not valid and do not allow you to legally operate a motor vehicle. You must always wear an approved helmet while operating a motorcycle in Virginia. This restriction will be printed on your license.dmvNOW. available at www. can be on the motorcycle. Sale of any document claiming to be a driver’s license is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For more information about obtaining a CDL. from a foreign country. except to persons whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked. and able to assist you while they are supervising from another motorcycle or other vehicle riding along with you. However. If you are visiting the U.Section 6: License Types Commercial Driver’s License A commercial driver’s license (CDL) allows you to operate tractor-trailers. tank vehicles. It is only a foreign translation of your existing valid driver’s license to be used when you are traveling outside of the U. If you already hold a driver’s license. refer to the Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual (DMV 60). You will be restricted to driving a bus designed to carry 15 occupants (including the driver). Motorcycle Learner’s Permit A motorcycle learner’s permit allows you to operate a motorcycle after 4 AM and before midnight. you must pass the driver’s license two-part knowledge exam. Your home country driver’s license should be accompanied by a translation of the license. other than the operator. 32 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. School Bus Driver’s License If you wish to operate a school bus designed to carry 15 occupants (including the driver). refer to the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual (DMV 2). you may drive using your driver’s license issued by your home country. school buses for 15 or more occupants (including the driver).com or DMV customer service centers. you will need to take the commercial driver and school bus tests to obtain the school bus endorsement on your driver’s license. If you do not hold a driver’s license. For information about licensing requirements to operate larger school buses. the motorcycle knowledge exam and the motorcycle road skills test.com or any DMV customer service center. You may operate the motorcycle only when supervised by a person who is at least 21 years of age.

Decals Title and register your vehicle and obtain Virginia license plates within 30 days of moving to Virginia. Titles. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 33 . new to Virginia or brushing up on your safe driving knowledge. registrations. there are additional requirements that all Virginia drivers should know. Registrations. If DMV does not have your correct address.Section 7: Other Important Information Whether you are learning to drive for the first time. you must obtain a Virginia driver’s license within 60 days of moving here. you are required to notify DMV within 30 days. Decals indicating the month and year that the registration expires must be placed in the designated areas on the plates (except for vehicles displaying permanent plates). DMV does not issue licenses in customer service centers. license plates. License plates must be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. In this section you’ll learn about:  Receiving your license by mail  Address changes  New to Virginia  Titles. eye and tissue donation Receiving License by Mail You will receive your new driver’s license in the mail. License Plates. Address Changes If you move. decals  Safety inspections  Insurance requirements  Applying to register to vote  Organ. the postal service will return the license to DMV. The postal service will not forward your license to another address. New to Virginia If you are a new Virginia resident and drive. For security.

S.000 for injury or death of one person. your insurance policy must provide the following liability insurance coverage:  $25. you will be asked if you wish to become an organ. eye and tissue donor is yours.virginia.vsp. To check your voter registration status. Check with your city or county government. Insure your Virginia-registered vehicle during the entire registration period even if it is not driven or is inoperable. but it allows you to register and operate the vehicle in Virginia for a one-year period.gov.dmvNOW. Before you cancel your insurance. if required. learner’s permit or photo ID card. You must also register your vehicle in your locality. Applying to Register to Vote You may apply to register to vote or to change your voter registration mailing address at any DMV office. You must have had your voting rights restored by a circuit court if you have been convicted of a felony or if you have been declared mentally incompetent. you must be a U. you must be at least 18 years of age. Insurance Requirements To register a vehicle and obtain license plates. return the license plates to DMV and cancel the registration. In some cases. Eye and Tissue Donation When you apply for a driver’s license. Indicate your intentions on the voter registration section of the driver’s license application. Paying the uninsured motorist fee does not provide insurance coverage. At a minimum. liability insurance requirements may be higher. 34 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . eye and tissue donor. citizen. For more information about Virginia safety inspections. Refer to www.  $50.000 for property damage.000 for injury or death of two or more people. and  have your insurance company file a certificate that you have a policy with the required coverage limits. you must have liability insurance or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. visit the Virginia State Police website at www. your choice will be noted on the front of your driver’s license or ID card. and be at least 18 years old by the next general election. your vehicle also must pass an emissions inspection. you must obtain your parent’s or legal guardian’s written consent. To apply to register to vote in Virginia. If you decide to become a donor. Insure your vehicle with a company authorized to do business in Virginia.Section 7: Other Important Information You must have the vehicle registration card with you when operating the vehicle. In certain localities. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you:  pay a $500 fee. You will have to file this certificate of insurance for three years from the date you regain your driving privileges. Organ. Your decision will not affect your driving privileges. and  $20. Safety Inspections Your vehicle must pass an annual vehicle safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker. If you are caught driving without insurance or you did not pay the uninsured motorist fee. a resident of Virginia. If you are under age 18.com for more information about DMV’s Insurance Verification Program and Financial Responsibility Certifications. contact your local registrar or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 or TDD 1-800-260-3466. The decision to become an organ. If you wish to become an organ/tissue donor.

d. Press brakes firmly. Stop. d. When a school bus stops to load or unload children. 5. Church. c. This road sign means: a. Your judgment. 3. c. Lane ends soon. This road sign means: a. If you drive after drinking. help any injured. d. One way street. Stop. b. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 35 . Apply brakes in a normal manner. then proceed with caution. Right lane ends soon. vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus must: a. d. b. Slow down and proceed with caution. If you are involved in a crash. c. c. d. Apply brakes gently. Pass only in the right lane. b. Your vision. d. Low place in the road. Turn right or left. 10. If you are driving on an icy or slippery road and have to stop: a. Warning of a hazard. Yield right-of-way. 4. merge left. b. b. You may turn during the red light. c. c. Check your car for damages. Four-way intersection. Left hand and arm pointing downward. be aware that alcohol affects: a. d. 9.Section 8: Sample Knowledge Exam 1. merge right. 2. d. 7. Take the person to the nearest hospital. Curve. First aid station. b. c. This road sign means: a. d. you must: a. This road sign means: a. 6. Do not turn during the red light. b. Railroad crossing. b. report the crash to the police. No U-turn. Continue home and file a crash report. Traffic flows only in the direction of the arrow. Your coordination. This road sign means: a. c. Left hand and arm pointing straight out. All of these. c. b. b. Railroad crossing. Answers on next page. c. d. Stop until all children are clear and the bus moves again. Maintain speed. Keep foot off brake and let compression stop you. 8. The correct hand signal for stopping is: a. exchange information and notify your insurance company. Soft shoulders. Speed limit. Right hand and arm pointing downward. Left hand and arm pointing upward.

C 36 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . 9. A. C. D. D. 6. C. D. A. 2. 10. 5. 4. D. A. 8. 3. 7.Section 8: Sample Knowledge Exam Correct Answers 1.

Box 27412 . Please recycle. Title 46. . refer to the Virginia Code.2. Richmond.Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles P O. To view Virginia’s motor vehicle laws. It does not supercede the Code of Virginia. Virginia 23269 (804) 497-7100 This manual is an informational tool. Virginia Administrative Code or any other statute.

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